Is BMI an Accurate Measurement?


Quick Answer

Many experts believe that BMI, or body mass index, is not an accurate determiner of whether or not a person is potentially at risk of health problems due to their weight, states WebMD. However, it is still a helpful screening tool.

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Full Answer

BMI does not take into account things such as a person's muscle mass, which can drastically alter the accuracy of a BMI reading, suggests WebMD. A higher muscle mass may lead to a BMI that indicates an individual is overweight even if they are not, while a lower muscle mass may lead a person to fall into a normal BMI range even if their body carries an unhealthy amount of fat.

Age, gender and body shape also factor into BMI readings. Because of issues such as these, it is suggested that measurements such as waist circumference are far more accurate measurements of a person's health risks related to weight, reports WebMD.

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